Independent fact finder recommends raise for Chicago teachers - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Independent fact finder recommends raise for Chicago teachers

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The president of the Chicago Teachers Union says an independent fact finder has recommended teachers should have their pay increased by nearly 15 percent.

The arbitrator reportedly recommends a general wage increase of 2.5 percent, but adds 12.6 percent to compensate for the longer school day. Add the built-in raises for increasing seniority and promotions, and it's a total hike of 15 to 20 percent the first year.     

With the district claiming a $600 million shortfall, union leaders predict CPS will reject the report, which is required by the state's new education reform law, Senate Bill 7.

Karen Lewis said Monday she was pleased the fact finder recognized that if the Chicago Public Schools wants teachers to work a longer day then the teachers should be paid more. But Lewis did not touch on the biggest issue -- whether she believes the report will make it more or less likely teachers in the nation's third largest school district will go on strike.

The union will convene a special delegate meeting on Wednesday. That's where they'll decide whether to accept the fact finder's recommendations.

Union members already voted to authorize a strike a few weeks ago.

A spokesman for CPS released the following statement regarding the report:

"Our goal is to have a contract that is fair to our teachers, students and taxpayers. We are operating under the most dire financial situation CPS has ever faced, so any contract proposals made by the fact finder or at the negotiation table with the CTU must be grounded in the fiscal reality CPS faces today as we must also protect investments in programs that boost student learning, such as the Full School Day. Asking taxpayers to fund a $330 million price tag in year one alone of this contract ignores the gravity of the financial crisis facing the District and would have devastating impacts on our school communities," Becky Carroll Chief COmmuncations Officer, Chicago Public Schools

CPS has been offering a 2-percent raise.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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